March 10, 2013
Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria
The first few minutes of this film may well be extraordinarily rare. The Spanish Riding School performs, and their outdoor location (where normally they performed in an opulent indoor riding hall in the heart of Vienna) suggests that this footage was taken of a performance given for local Nazi officers after the evacuation of the school to St. Martin, Austria due to heavy bombing, but before the American forces invaded that far into the continent. This is indeed VERY rare footage, if that is the case, of a desperate time when the entire Lipizzan breed of horse was nearly wiped out due to the war, and the artistry of their performance and skill lost with them. Anyone with a passing interest, I would encourage to see the film "The Miracle of the White Stallions" produced by the Disney company in 1963 regarding this period in the School's history.